The One That Got Away – Cannes Lions 2017

Pathé Tuschinski, Amsterdam, 11 July 2017

 Photo: Rachel Ecclestone (for a full selection of photos check out our Facebook page)


On Wednesday the 5th of July, more than 600 people from the Dutch creative industry gathered in the main auditorium of Amsterdam’s Pathé Tuschinki for ‘The One That Got Away’. The get-together, also known as #TOTGA, is the official post-Cannes Lions event hosted by Orange Lions and ADCN. It is organised yearly to give the community an opportunity to learn from the jury members that represent the Netherlands in Cannes. The Netherlands had ten jurors judging the world’s creative work this summer, eight of which shared their favourite pieces of work, including ‘The One That Got Away’: a piece of work that did not bring home a Lion, or perhaps was not even entered, but that we should celebrate and learn from.

Taking into account that it was an incredibly warm and sunny evening in Amsterdam, the amount of guests that showed up on the steps of Tuschinski was astonishing. It was especially remarkable to see such a large amount of young faces, the next generation of creative Dutchies, in the crowd. As soon as everyone had taken their seats, Kerrie Finch, official Cannes Lions NL rep, founder of FinchFactor and host of the evening kicked off the night with a recap of the Netherlands’ achievements of this year’s festival. In short, we brought home 41 awards including one Young Lions win and five Gold Lions.

Throughout the evening, the jurors spoke about their experience judging at the Festival of Creativity, sharing insights and learnings with the crowd. The first four to join Kerrie Finch on stage were Anneke Schogt, Mark van Iterson, Elissa Singstock and Janwillem Bouwknecht.

Anneke Schogt, Managing Director of IMA, represented the Netherlands judging the Promo & Activation category. Which, if you ask her, should instead be labeled Promo + Activation, as the focus lies on the combination of the two disciplines. Anneke let the audience know the time she spent judging, felt like five years worth of experience gained in five days. The project she shared that didn’t get the recognition it deserved was ‘Coffee is not a drug’ by Possible Moscow for Chernyi Cooperative. It didn’t win, but should have, because of the way the makers created impact by using the dark web as a medium to sell their products. Her least favourite word of the summer? Impressions. Anneke: “The word impression doesn’t mean anything, show us actual results!”

When Mark van Iterson, Director Global Heineken Design, was asked to share his favorite work, some funny folks in the audience jokingly popped open their Grolsch flip-top bottles, resulting in laughs around the auditorium. Mark judged the Design category this year. Mark: “Each juror gets to make a case for work that caught their eye, and they feel deserves a Lion. One of these cases almost kicked it to the very top of the list, which shows the importance of talking about the work with the rest of the jurors.” The one that got away, according to Mark, was ‘See Yourself in Others’ for Tribeca Film Festival by DDB New York.

Elissa Singstock, Executive Producer at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, gave the audience a peek inside the Film jury. If she could give one piece of advice to everyone that wishes to submit work for Cannes next year, it’s making use of the comment section to share cultural references with the jury. Give them the ‘why’. The one that got away? ‘The club 99.7’ for Nowness by Danish film maker Nina Holmgren. A film about her grandfather and his sense of style – an audience favourite at Tuschinski.

Janwillem Bouwknegt of npk design was the chosen one for Product Design. The case that didn’t bring home a prize, but should be celebrated anyway according to him, was ‘Unfair Plates’ for Froebel-Kan by Dentsu Inc., a project that teaches children why it’s important to not waste food. It didn’t win, according to Janwillem, because it was submitted in the wrong (sub)category.

After the break, in which the Reguliersbreestraat filled with TOTGA-guests looking for the last rays of sun, the evening continued with jurors Nathalie Peters, Emmanuel Flores Elías, Marieke Verhart and Darre van Dijk.

Cyber juror Nathalie Peters introduced the audience to Cannes Lions 2017 Cyber Young Lion Dutch winners, Michael James Phillips and Scott Kooken, who won gold for their 24-hour pitch for RED. After the ceremony, she provided insights into the process of judging over 2000 pieces of work. The project she thought got away was ‘Shattered stories’ for Motorola by VML, a case film that was, according to her, too complex. Based on the reaction of the audience, they agreed.

Emmanuel Flores, Innovation Director at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam and Cannes Lions Innovation juror, stressed the fact that innovation is not just about tech and data; innovation is many things. He believes in culture first, as winning a Grand Prix can really steer the value of a project, so why not use that to benefit the world? A project that is ahead of it’s time according to Emmanuel, but went home without a Lion, is The Dodgers Accelerator’ for LA Dodgers by R/GA.

The one that got away according to Cannes Lions Media juror Marieke Verhart was not a sexy project, but one that used data in an incredibly smart and relevant way: Cold & Flu Tracker by Theraflu and The Weather Company.

The last juror to share his favorite work was Darre van Dijk, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\Neboko, who represented the Netherlands in Direct. The case that didn’t do as well as it could have, was a project by TBWA\Neboko: The Maestro for McDonald’s, a project that won a Bronze Lion. His favorite piece of work from all of Cannes 2017 was ‘The Child Replacement Programme’ for Pedigree by Colenso BBDO. A must see, in case you haven’t yet. Darre believes it did well because of the actual results. Not just impressions, likes, shares talk; actual numbers of adopted pets.

Overall, the evening was one to learn from. The favourite work, tips, learnings and insights shared by the jurors, give the Dutch creative industry food for thought for next year’s submissions. Which, in turn, will hopefully lead to an even better score in Cannes next year. The most impressive film of the evening, according to the audience, was one of the last ones. Darre van Dijk’s favourite piece of Dutch work was RNDBT’s film for Warchild: Batman. “RNDBT got this project right across all touch points; it’s purely crafted and true.”